Natalie Jablonski

News and Features Contributor

McNaughton resident and veteran of Pearl Harbor, Walter Wendt died in March of this year. He was 97.

In 2013, WXPR's Natalie Jablonski interviewed Wendt about his experiences at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day. Here is a link to the story....

The late Walter Wendt with WXPR's Natalie Jablonski in 2013. Today is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Teachers from Ladysmith and Florence joined a workshop in Three Lakes this week to learn the ins and outs of technology in the school's Fab Lab.

It's short for Fabrication Lab...and it's made up of a series of digital tools and machines including a 3D printer and a laser engraver.

Three Lakes Fab Lab director Steve Yahr  says Fab Lab 101 for Teachers gets them familiar with the tech tools.


DNR Wardens are heightening their presence on the Minocqua-Tomahawk chain of lakes this summer to enforce catch-and-release rules for walleye newly in place this year.  

As DNR Warden Dave Walz explains, a collaborative plan with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission calls for extra monitoring to ensure no fish are taken.  

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Room tax receipts were up ten percent in the Rhinelander area in the first quarter of this year.

Chamber Director Dana DeMet says that’s a significant increase from last year.

“That would indicate a really strong showing over the winter months, he says. "Plus you compare that, the 2014 winter was one of the biggest on record.  So even though we had more snow, colder temperatures in 2014, 2015 actually shaped up to be a better winter in terms of tourism numbers.”

A Lac du Flambeau native is teaching a workshop at Bayfield’s Big Top Chautauqua, as part of a series of workshops focusing on traditional Native American skills.

Lake Superior’s Big Top Chautauqua is making an effort to provide more Native American cultural programming, accessible to more people.  

Acclaimed musician and Lac du Flambeau tribal member Darren Thompson says he’s looking forward to offering a flute workshop later this month.  

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

People have until June 30th to submit written comments to the state DNR on how walleye are being managed in northern Wisconsin’s ceded territory.  That includes feedback how specific lakes should be regulated.

A public hearing held Friday on the topic drew few participants, with just four members of the public attending.  

Opponents of a measure to change teacher licensing requirements are still skeptical of new language that could limit its impact.  


Irma Republican Mary Czaja says she’ll redraft her proposal that allows prospective teachers to get licensed without a bachelor’s degree.  She told reporters those candidates could only be part-time teachers, and that the license would be specific to a single school.  


Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Despite about a hundred and fifty wolves taken in a wolf hunt last winter, Wisconsin’s wolf population has increased. 

Preliminary numbers from the state DNR have put last winter’s population between 746 and 771 wolves.

That’s a thirteen percent increase from the year before, when numbers were as low as 660.    

Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland says the number is on the upper end of what biologists expected when they set a hunting quota last year. 


Mark Miller /

Environmental groups are reacting against a proposal that restricts county shoreland zoning power.


Language within the state budget passed by the Joint Finance Committee says counties can’t employ stricter standards than those the state requires for what’s built on lakefront properties.

Republican Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst says it will create uniformity.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Rhinelander is expecting a few thousand people this Saturday...with several events going on downtown.


Downtown Rhinelander Inc. is organizing the 18th year of its Second Saturday in June Car Show.


Executive Director Maggie Steffen says visitors can see more than a hundred cars of all ages...and you can admire them both inside and out.   


Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News


Representatives from the state’s eleven tribes are wrapping up a conference on Native American tourism. Many are looking to tourism to provide an economic boost.  

The Sokoagon Chippewa Community hosted the annual Native American Tourism of Wisconsin, or NATOW, conference this week.  Tribes from around the state gathered in Mole Lake to talk about fresh ways to market themselves and draw visitors.

Dick Daniels

June and July bring peak breeding activity for Wisconsin’s birds.  The state DNR says it’s an especially good time to get involved documenting bird sightings for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas.  


It’s a five-year data gathering project that spans the entire state.  


Submitted photo

A talk this week will focus on forest ownership and conservation.


Adena Rissman is on the faculty in UW Madison, studying relationships between people and natural resources.


She says major changes in public and private land ownership patterns have shaped forest conservation.  


One person died in a boating accident in Arbor Vitae on Friday night. It happened on Arrowhead Lake.


The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says the 911 call came in at 10:45 pm, reporting a capsized boat and someone in the water.


According to an initial investigation, the boat that capsized was carrying two Illinois men. One was able to make it to shore, while the other was later found dead in the water.


Among the emergency crews responding to the scene were the Oneida County Dive Team and the Wisconsin DNR.


Kristie Gianopulos /

Wildlife managers have released a new ten year management plan for wild turkeys.  


As DNR Upland Wildlife Ecologist Scott Walter explains, it’s a more than 100-page document that guides decisions about hunting quotas and habitat conservation.  

“The major programmatic goal is to protect the wild turkey resource," he said, "while maximizing recreational opportunities, and maintaining a positive public image of turkeys.”